A pregnant 25-year-old Pakistani woman was stoned to death by 20 family members, including her father and brothers, because she married the man she loved against her family’s wishes.
Worse, perhaps, was that this was all done in broad daylight in front of the Lahore high court building in front of many onlookers. The woman was stoned to death and beaten with clubs and bricks.
According to police, three-months pregnant Farzana Parveen married Mohammad Iqbal after being engaged to him for several years despite her family’s objections.
At first, her father filed a kidnapping report, claiming the woman’s husband abducted her, which the couple fought in court.
As the couple left the court, the mob of family members accosted them, fired shots in the air, and attempted to snatch the woman from her husband. When she resisted, her father, brothers, and other family members began to beat her with bricks from a nearby construction site.
Iqbal told reporters “we were in love. I simply took her to court and registered a marriage.”
He says the family was unhappy not because the woman was arranged to be married to another man but because they wanted to “fleece money from him before marrying her off.”
According to police, her father called the murder an “honor killing.”
According to the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, approximately 869 women endured the same fate of these “honor killings” last year alone. Other groups say it’s well over a thousand women per year.
Wait, it gets worse. Her father will likely go free.
Even those convicted of honor killings often walk free because Pakistani law “allows the victim’s family to forgive their killer.”
Activist Wasim Wasgha says the law is broken because honor killings are typically carried out by family members who then nominate one person to be arrested for the crime and then forgive them.
“This is a huge flaw in the law,” he said. “We are really struggling on this issue.”